Catechisms and catechists break down the teachings of the Catholic Church into four categories stemming from:
- The Apostles Creed
- The Seven Sacraments
- The Ten Commandments
- The Lords Prayer
So I guess I could stop now and you could go find out for yourself whether or not these things have consistently been the pillars of the Church from its inception, but I'll ramble on a bit, but one point should be very clear:
Not only is the Catholic Church the largest religious organization in the world today, but it is the only institution that has survived the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Faith of Millions - Rev. John A. O'Brien Ph,D.
The Apostles Creed
When folks are baptized, or have their children baptized, they recite the Apostles Creed in communion with the assembly gathered and the priest says at the end
This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord
and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI recently wrote on the same subject:
The faith is a theological virtue, given by God, but transmitted by the Church throughout history. St Paul himself, writing to the Corinthians, affirms he has communicated to them the Gospel that he too had received (cf. 1 Cor 15:3).
and he goes on to quote the Vatican II document Dei Verbum saying:
The Council says: “The apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved by a continuous line of succession until the end of time”
Pope Benedict XVI - General Audience August 31, 2012
The Seven Sacraments are all biblical in nature.
- Jesus and the Apostles that the Holy Eucharist contains the Body and Blood of Christ (Mat 26:26-28; 1 Cor 10:16).
- The Catholic Church holds fast to the clear teaching of Christ and the Apostles that the Holy Eucharist contains the Body and Blood of Jesus under the appearances of bread and wine
The Faith of Millions, pp71
- Jesus gave His disciples the ability to forgive peoples sins (John 20:23) and St. Paul reiterates this teaching (2 Cor 5:18).
- Since they inherit their power from the Apostles, the Bishops and their helpers the priests continue the ministry of healing the soul through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Christ taught the indissolubility of marriage (Mat 19:6) and pointed out strongly that men who even look at other women commit adultery (Mark 10:11.
So far as anyone can tell, the Catholic Church still forbids divorce, she even gave up England to prove that point.
Anointing of the Sick
St. James (one of them) called the sick to be brought before the priest of the Church and have them be prayed over (James 5:14).
The Catholic Church continues the practice of anointing the the sick and those in danger of death. She always allows for extraordinary practices in danger of death (for instance, anyone can baptize a person in danger of death). But the ordinary circumstances call for a priest to be present, as naturally would what St. James wrote about in his letter.
As is written in The Acts of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and John confirmed the new Christians who had already been baptized (Acts 8:15-17). They did so by laying hands on them.
Today a Catholic Bishop (or priest under his authority) places his hands upon the confirmandi and prays over them so that they may receive the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The 10 Commandments
The commandments make up the fundamental social doctrine of the Apostolic and Catholic Church. Jesus, throughout His preaching reiterates and strengthens the commandments. The Church in turn, keeps the commandments and bases it's entire moral teaching on them and the two Greatest Commandments (Love of God and Love of Neighbor) proclaimed by Christ in the Gospel and there is evidence of it throughout salvation history:
Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today. The catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.
The Catechism goes on to quote two of the last few of Councils saying:
The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.
The Lord's Prayer
Like a large portion of the Latin Rite Mass (and other Catholic/Byzantine Rite Liturgies) the prayer Jesus taught to His disciples is repeated at every Mass and most other prayers (Liturgy of the Hours, The Rosary, etc...). The Our Father in English isn't exactly what one reads in the the Gospel, but in Latin is much more similar:
PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen
EWTN Latin Prayers - The Lord's Prayer
Pater, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis peccata nostra, siquidem et ipsi dimittimus omni debenti nobis. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
Aside from the additions (completely from the nearly as ancient [Didache]) The only word that is different between the Latin Vulgate and the Latin Mass is Debts vs Sins. And since I'm not a Latin aficionado, I'd be hard pressed to tell you why the Latin differs in the opposite way from English, but oh well.
The main point is that Catholics from the Early Fathers to Pope Francis love talking about the Lord's Prayer and how it's the heart of all Christian prayer: